How the Nightmare Named Itself

His palms smelled like off milk.
            One cotton hand pressed my throat,
            The other kept a vice-tight hold
            On my face.

The next night he was wearing a bird costume
            And retching over a wall.
            I could smell his arse and its
            Notes of fine Mexican chillies.

Last night though he was pure energy
            Transcendent violence contained
            In a kind of screaming mass
            As it inched upstairs.
            Uncle Bob:

The nightmare’s name for death.

(But it named itself.) BOB.
No, this is the child’s name for death.

The child wakes sweating
countless times – each another layer
                                 of the dream.